WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator and physician Rand Paul (R-KY) and U.S. Representative Chip Roy. (R-TX-21) introduced the NIH Reform Act to eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and replace it with three separate national research institutes that would be led by directors subject to Senate confirmation and limited to no more than two 5-year terms.
“We’ve learned a lot over the past few years, but one lesson in particular is that no one person should be deemed “dictator-in-chief.” No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans,” said Dr. Paul. “To ensure that ineffective, unscientific lockdowns and mandates are never foisted on the American people ever again, I’ve introduced this bill to eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s previous position as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and divide the role into three separate new institutes. This will create accountability and oversight into a taxpayer funded position that has largely abused its power and has been responsible for many failures and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“From the earliest days of the pandemic, unaccountable public health bureaucrats proved themselves far more adept at ruining lives than saving them. Never again should a single individual, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, wield unchecked power and influence over the lives of the American people. Breaking up Dr. Fauci’s taxpayer funded bully pulpit into three separate agencies — and requiring Senate confirmation for all their future directors — is one of many actions necessary to allow the American people to hold public health agencies accountable,” said Rep. Roy.
The legislation is currently cosponsored by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) in the Senate.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for over 38 years—longer than J. Edgar Hoover was Director of the FBI. By the time he retired, he was the highest paid official in the entire federal government. Yet the Senate never voted to confirm him once. The law does not require Senate confirmation of the NIAID Director.
The NIAID’s stated mission is “to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.” This sweeping mandate covers everything from asthma to Ebola, from peanut allergies to the plague. From the head of that institute, Dr. Fauci installed himself as a de facto pandemic czar, advocating for misguided policies like mandatory vaccinations for school-aged children (one of the populations least at risk from COVID-19).
To improve accountability of the NIH, the NIH Reform Act will restructure the NIAID to better align with its mission as follows:
Abolish the NIAID and replace it with the following three new institutes:
- National Institute of Allergic Diseases;
- National Institute of Infectious Diseases; and
- National Institute of Immunologic Diseases.
The directors of each new institute would be:
- Appointed by the president,
- Subject to Senate confirmation, and
- Limited to no more than two 5-year terms.
This type of reorganization is nothing new. In the aftermath of J. Edgar Hoover’s decades-long tenure as head of the FBI, Congress passed a law in 1976 limiting the FBI Director to a single 10-year term, and as recently as 2012, Congress eliminated one center within the NIH and replaced it with a new one. In the aftermath of the damage done by pandemic-era mandates and restrictions, Congress must enact the NIH Reform Act to ensure that one official cannot claim the unquestioned authority to dictate the governmental responses to public health questions.